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Rat Control and Extermination


The Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is also known as the brown rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, or water rat. It's the most common rat encountered by exterminators in the Greater St. Louis area.

Norway rats are stocky, brownish or grayish animals who can grow to lengths of a foot and a half from the tips of their noses to the ends of their tails. In nature, Norway rats are burrowing rodents who stay close to the ground. But they also have excellent balance and can climb very well when necessary. They also have extraordinary senses of hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

Norway rats dig burrows in the ground in fields, under sheds or buildings, at the base of trees, and under rocks. But because they've adapted to living among humans and feeding on human garbage, they're also at home in abandoned buildings, basements, garbage dumps, sewers, utility chaseways, and other areas close to human activity.

Contrary to popular belief, Norway rats are very good swimmers. They can travel great distances in storm drains and sewer pipes, and horror stories abound about rats crawling into toilets through the soil pipe.


Rats and Public Health

Rats are notorious public health pests. They're involved in the transmission of many serious diseases, the most infamous of which is plague. In the 14th Century A.D., fleas carried by rats and infected with Yersinia pestis (the bacterium that causes plague), killed about one-third of Europe's population. Far from being extinct, plague outbreaks still occur in the United States and overseas.

Rats also contaminate millions of pounds of stored food every year with their shed hair, droppings, and urine, and cause millions of dollars each year in fire damage and lost productivity caused by their gnawing on electrical, data, and communications wiring. Rats also are capable of causing serious injuries, especially to young children who may attempt to play with them. They have razor-sharp teeth and strong jaws adapted to gnawing, and they can inflict serious injuries with a high probability of infections.


Control of Norway Rats

Effective Norway rat control begins with environmental modification. This means taking actions to make an area less attractive to rats and less able to sustain a rat population, such as:

  • Cutting of supplies of available food and water by improving sanitation and waste management practices.
  • Reducing harborage by implementing good landscaping techniques and removing refuse and debris.
  • Utilizing exclusion to keep rats out of buildings.


Choosing the Right Rat Exterminator

Once all practical environmental measures have been taken to make an area less attractive to rats, Buckingham Pest Control utilizes a wide variety of control measures to control the remaining rat population.

Depending on the location, season, and severity of the infestation, these methods may include trapping and/or the use of EPA-registered rodenticides to quickly and efficiently control the remaining population, followed by ongoing monitoring and baiting, if needed.

We strive to provide maximum effectiveness of control, with primary reliance on trapping, exclusion, and habitat modification, rather than relying on poisoning as a primary control method.

This earth-friendly approach not only maximizes effectiveness and minimizes impact on the environment, but it also saves you money by reducing or eliminating the need for ongoing rat control service.


Ready to find out more?

If you have a problem with rats or any other pest and are in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area, contact Buckingham Pest Control for a prompt, individual evaluation and custom treatment plan.